Hailing from someplace called Ashtabula, Ohio, Homewrecker are an extreme metal/hardcore band that have been raging like a psychotic beast for a little more than five years. In that time, the band has made its way to the Dallas area on several occasions and found a niche performing at a local taqueria.
Battling bad cell service while in the tour van on the way to Indiana and in anticipation of tonight's show at Taqueria Pedritos, drummer/singer Matt Barnum talked with DC9 about Homewrecker's merging of punk and extreme metal and how the band has persevered despite a dizzying array of personnel changes.
DC9 at Night: How did you get booked at a Dallas taqueria?
Barnum: We've played there several times and it's great. We were there during the summer and it's this sick restaurant. They have really good Mexican food there. You get to play and have some really good tacos. Over time, since we have been touring since 2009, you meet people and get better contacts. Our friend booked us there.
You come to Texas often?
Yes, we love coming to Texas. We have a good time there. The guys love Lone Star beer. They are excited for those. There are also so many bands that we admire that have come out of Texas. Our bass player loves the band Unit 21 and they are from Texas. We are into Power Trip as well.
How did you guys originally get together to form the band?
After a couple of us graduated high school, we talked and decided to form a band. We've all been in scattered bands since junior high school. Some of us were in punk bands while others were in metal bands. It's kind of funny music. People in the band now have known each other since they learned how to play their instruments. Now, we are touring together and it is awesome.
For a band that's only been around a few years, you've had some major personnel changes.
Recently, we changed around our lineup. Me and the guitar player who also sings have been in the band since the beginning. Our first bassist went to college and got his degree and is teaching English. He parted ways with the band because he wanted to further his life as a teacher. Our other guitar player just moved to Colorado because he likes what's going on in Colorado. We picked up some really close friends as new members. Our singer actually quit, too. We tried a couple of shows with fill-ins, but we didn't really want to have any of them replace our singer. So the guitar player and myself decided to do the singing.
Is drumming and singing your style of music very difficult?
It's insane. I just started doing that recently. I practiced a couple times and went out and did it. We were on tour for 22 days and that's when I really got it down. Now, I am still learning, but it's pretty fun.
How have all the changes affected the sound of the band?
It's affected the sound a little bit. It made all of us have more say in the music and come together for the better. We were recording the new album in Baltimore a month ago. That will be coming out soon. We are all really pumped about that because we put all of our ideas together and recorded them.
Is it difficult to replicate the sound of the first album with all of the changes?
No, it's not difficult. We practiced and since we have a new album coming out, we aren't playing a lot of older songs. On this tour, we are doing mostly newer material. But it's not difficult because we were a part of that band that recorded that record.
You are from Ashtabula, a small town in Ohio. What is there to do for fun in Ashtabula?
You play hardcore music [laughs]. There is literally nothing to do. Growing up there was cool. Now, it's just a post-apocalyptic town on the edge of Ohio. It's a bunch of meth-heads and heroin users. There is not much to do. In the summertime, it's cool because you can go to the beach. It's right on Lake Erie, but other than that, you just try finding work or write music and hang out.
You describe your music as hardcore, but it seems to be an extreme variety of punk.
Yes, it is. When we first started, we had a lot more hardcore influences. We've definitely merged the sound into metal. We all started with punk roots and all that. That all shows in our music and that is cool.
Is it exhausting to play live?
It can be a challenge, especially since we just started doing the vocals. It's coming together pretty well and people seem to like it when they come to the shows. They say that there's a lot of energy.
Stylistically, what's the biggest difference between the band's debut and the upcoming sophomore effort?
It's faster, heavier. It's got a crustier, punk rock feel. Worms and Dirt showed a more Cleveland influence. We have some of that in Circle of Death, but the new album is a lot more metal.
What do you mean by crustier?
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I don't really know how to explain it. It's like raw.
Do you listen to any bands that would be considered mellow?
All of the guys really like Pink Floyd and some of that older stuff. We always put on Pink Floyd when we have a long drive ahead of us. We've been listening to ZZ Top for the last 30 minutes. We like old hip-hop. We put that on when we are driving late at night. Our drummer really likes Weezer.